President Biden gave out hugs and words of encouragement Friday as he toured wildfire damage in Colorado with his wife, first lady Jill Biden.
The recently extinguished blaze between Denver and Boulder destroyed about 1,100 structures, including hundreds of homes. Two people were missing and feared dead.
The president met with three families affected by the inferno before delivering remarks. One resident apologized to the first couple for wearing shorts, saying the rest of his clothes had burned.
“The whole nation is thinking about you,” Biden said. “You have no idea how many people’s prayers you’re in, when I went to Mass, how many people were praying for you.”
The president blamed the extent of the devastation on climate change caused by the use of fossil fuels.
“We can’t ignore the reality that these fires are being supercharged. They’re being supercharged by a change in the weather,” Biden said.
He added: “We’re gonna have windmills you’re gonna see that have 100-yard wingspans, each propeller on that on that windmill, 100 yards long.”
“We have to summon the courage to do something about it to build back better as one nation,” said Biden, whose own Build Back Better Act legislation recently was torpedoed by centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WVa.). That bill included $555 billion for environmental programs.
The Bidens departed Colorado for Nevada to attend the Saturday funeral for former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).